Elite XC recently added a new fighter to its stable of welterweight contenders to challenge newly-crowned champion, Jake Shields. Former UFC and WEC veteran, John Alessio (23-11), has inked a three fight deal with the promotion, according FiveOuncesOfPain.com.
Alessio has a winless record (0-3) in the UFC against some pretty stiff competition. After losing to Pat Miletich (submission) at UFC 26 back in 2000, he returned to the Octagon in 2006 to lose two close matches to division standouts Diego Sanchez (decision) and Thiago Alves (decision).
After his departure from the UFC, Alessio landed with another Zuffa-owned mixed martial arts company -- the WEC. He was able to put together a solid record (5-2) in his time there, with his only losses coming to division champion, Carlos Condit (submission), and former number one contender, Brock Larson, by way of disqualification.
In his most recent fight, Alessio slapped a rear naked choke on former UFC competitor, Pete Spratt, in the second round of their fight with Banner Promotions - "Night of Combat" -- June 20. However, he sustained a broken arm in the fight, which means that his appearance inside the Elite XC cage could be later rather than sooner.
This is one of those solid, but not great pick ups for Elite XC. In Alessio, they have a guy who will fight hard for them on any given fight card. And with his experience he should bring some added credibility to his opponents and the fights in which he competes.
Elite XC should, at the very least, be able to pull a decent number one contender match out of this signing by putting Alessio in there with another title hopeful or two.
In fact, guys like Jay Heiron (if he signs), Hector Lombard and Paul "Semtex" Daley might be able to use a win against a hard-nosed crafty veteran such as Alessio to score themselves a shot at Jake Shields' gold.
Who knows, maybe Alessio might shock a few people and earn a shot at that strap himself. It's possible.